Can You Control Diabetes Without Medicine?

Diabetes needs to be controlled. For most people, this includes taking medicine. But some people may not need medicine. It depends on what type of diabetes you have. And it depends on other things. Read on to learn more.

Type 1 diabetes

All people with type 1 diabetes need to control it with medicine. You must use shots of insulin. That's because your body may not make any insulin. Or it may not make enough insulin. Without insulin, you could develop diabetic ketoacidosis. This is a life-limiting condition.

Type 2 diabetes

Many people with type 2 diabetes need to take medicine. But some people don't. Your healthcare provider may first advise both meal planning and exercise. You may need to lose weight. These can all lower your blood sugar. Your sugar level may go back to near the normal range. Then your lifestyle changes will be how you manage your diabetes.

But that may change over time. Your body often makes enough insulin when type 2 diabetes starts. But your body has trouble using it. This is called insulin resistance. As time goes on, your body may stop making enough insulin. Then you may need medicine.

Over time, many people with type 2 diabetes need medicine to manage it. But a healthy lifestyle is still important. This is done through diet, exercise, and weight loss. This is true even if you take medicine.

Gestational diabetes

This is diabetes that can happen in pregnancy. Your blood sugar may be controlled early in pregnancy without medicine. But you will likely need medicine or insulin later. Your blood sugar will likely go back to normal after you give birth. You may then develop type 2 diabetes in the future.

Online Medical Reviewer: Raymond Kent Turley BSN MSN RN
Online Medical Reviewer: Ricardo Rafael Correa Marquez MD
Online Medical Reviewer: Rita Sather RN
Date Last Reviewed: 10/1/2023
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